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Tzipi came back.

After several months of not seeing him, I had to face the cold fact that Tzipi might be dead. Of course, I hoped he had just moved away because of O.J.’s bullying, but life in the wild being what it is, it was just as likely that he was gone for good.

I felt pretty crummy about this because, of course, I had come to really love Tzipi. He was the first wild animal that I successfully befriended. Well, I considered him a friend but it’s unlikely that he saw me as anything more than a human birdfeeder. Be that as it may, he was very intelligent and charming and just easy to love.

Now, O.J. is the *only* jay we’ve seen in our yard for quite a long time. Two days ago, K and I were about to head out when we noticed that there was jay in our yard that was not O.J. Although he didn’t look exactly like Tzipi, he started acting in a very Tzipi-like way — specifically, perching in the spots that Tzipi liked to perch. So, against all hope, I grabbed a few sunflower seeds near me (which I had been trying to lure a squirrel with, but that’s another story) and went outside. The jay didn’t fly away when I opened the door, although he fluttered around a bit. Then I opened my hand and he flew to me!

Tzipi!

He was most displeased with the seeds, so I told him to wait a second while I went inside and grabbed some almonds. I grabbed a whole lot of almonds in my enthusiasm. He took two and flew off. I had a huge lump in my throat and yes, shed a few tears.

All my life I have had dreams about my pets after they die, that somehow, against all physical laws, they manage to return from death. I can’t tell you how many times I have dreamed this dream. Even when I visit my pets’ graves, I can’t help but think that somehow they will pop out of the ground, alive and healthy. It’s one of the crazy, malformed tricks of the human mind. My mind, at least.

To see Tzipi fly to me after all these months was nothing short of a dream come true. It was so stunning and emotional.

He hasn’t been back but I hope he will be. At least now I know he is safe and sound.

Long live Tzipi, the best Scrub Jay ever.